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Just One Small Thing: Everyday Wisdom for Catholic Women

Aug 12, 2019

For the next four weeks, we’re diving into Sacramentals.  What are they? Why do we have them? How did each particular devotion come to be?  To begin, let’s take a look at this line from the Catechism:

Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that sacraments do, but by the Church's prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. (CC1670)

Sacramentals can be an object (such as Miraculous Medal or Holy Water) or an action (like the Sign of the Cross or the different postures we assume during mass).

For our first episode of the series, we’re discussing Miraculous Medals. 

For the cradle Catholics, this is, quite possibly, something you’ve had close to you and worn for a while, but were you ever taught about the Saint this medal was given to?  We weren’t!

In July of 1830, St. Catherine Laboure, a novice of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, was woken up by a child (some say her guardian angel) and asked to come to the chapel. There, Our Lady appeared to her and told her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.”

In November of the same year, Mary again appeared to St. Catherine and gave her the image of the medal she wanted made and worn by all the faithful: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.”

Two years after these visions, the medals were made with approval of the Church and handed out all over Paris.  Originally called The Medal of the Immaculate Conception, it quickly became known as the Miraculous Medal within the first decade of the devotion because of the many miracles attributed to it.   In 1836, after proper investigations, the apparition was declared genuine by the Church. St. Catherine didn’t reveal herself as the recipient of the medal until shortly before her death, almost 50 years later.

What I love about the Miraculous Medal is how it can be used for catechesis.  Each symbol on the medal tells us something about Our Lady and Christ in a simple yet beautiful way.  Much like the stained glass windows in our churches, this medal serves as a means to learning more about and growing deeper in our Faith.

What we mention in today’s episode:

This Blog Post

Chewslife Rosary Bracelets

And here’s a cool info-graphic to share with the kiddos


Hope you enjoy today's episode!  

Your sisters in the small things,


Nancy and Katie